The recent controversy about the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asking the makers of Udta Punjab to remove drug and state-related references in the movie has put the spotlight on drug abuse problems in Punjab.
But it is not only Punjab. Drugs are big business in Maharashtra as well, particularly Mumbai. The case of party drug Meow Meow’s trafficking and how even some Mumbai police personnel were caught in this web is well known.
While Punjab as a state may be in pole position when it comes to drug-related offences, city-wise data of the National Crime Records Bureau puts Mumbai on top. In 2014, there were 19,874 cases under Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act reported in the country. Of this, Mumbai reported 14,274 cases followed by Amritsar with 1,382 cases. It translates into 77.5 cases per one lakh Mumbaikars, the highest under NDPS. The all-India average for the year 2014 was 12.4.
Maharashtra also ranks high in number of people committing suicide from drug abuse. In 2014, suicide from drug abuse formed 8.4% of all suicides in the state. The numbers for 2012 and 2013 crossed 10%, NCRB numbers show.
So far, the state has not received much assistance from the Central government for strengthening enforcement capabilities for combating illicit trafficking in NDPS. While that maybe perhaps because Maharashtra is a larger state and can generate its own funds, more cognisance needs to be taken about the problem of drugs in the state.